by Guy Nowell
Third boat home in the 2006 China Sea Race today was Fred Kinmonth's 'Mandrake' at 13:18:32 hrs.
Mandrake crew: hot, salty, but with a ’cold one’ to hand
Warwick Downes reported the trip as 'fine, except for the holes.' Following the breeze - or what there was of it - after Friday night's fleet park-up actually put them in front of Jelik at one point. 'That felt pretty good,' said Kinmonth, 'of course she went past us, but it was just a matter of hanging on as close as we could.'
Crewman Denis Martinez remembered, 'we were having a great time that first night out of Hong Kong, 20+ knots under spinnaker, surfing, going like a train. Until we went past the shelf (the 50-fathom line) And then it just collapsed. The sea was glass all round us. And the last night coming in to Subic was great too, full moon and 12 kts of boatspeed. It was so bright it was almost daylight. We worked very hard all night, and then it took us from 0900 to 13000 to do the last 15 miles.'
Mandrake approaching the Subic Bay finish, CSR 2006
On final approach to Subic, Mandrake got the same spell of gentle northwesterly wind. 'When the land breeze started to fill in, the wind backed and backed towards southwest and we were able to sail a curve down the coast and in to the finish,' said Downes.
Mandrake crew voted Warwick's plea of 'don't be silly, don't disagree' as 'Quote of the Race' as the crew worked through the shifty stuff coming in to landfall. Obviously this request paid off as provisional figures show Mandrake ahead of Boracay and Jelik on corrected time.